Antique metalware at Soane Britain

A glorious celebration of ancient handcraft

Wooden crocodile lidded box (£950)
Wooden crocodile lidded box (£950)

Renowned among discerning homeowners and decorators for its glamorous, British-made furniture, Soane also offers clients a selection of antique furniture, paintings, statuary and objets d’art that would happily sit alongside the company’s decorative and luxe designs. Now it is providing the chance to purchase rare and beautifully crafted pieces for the home at an alluring exhibition of antique metalware (Wednesday November 25 to Thursday December 24).

More than 100 highly individual pieces have been selected by antiques dealer and decorator Peter Twining, who also collaborates with Soane Britain’s co-founder and creative director Lulu Lytle on the company’s furniture designs. Much has come from his own collection, with some of the finest items treasured for decades. Above all, this is a celebration of handcraftsmanship. Here are engraved brass vessels from the Middle East and India, gleaming copper bowls and trays, Indianlotas (water pots), ormolu table spoons, copper or brass candlesticks, old Sheffield-plate platters, bidriware vases and charming animal-shaped containers.

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“Peter Twining has been an antiques dealer for 55 years and has bought and sold some truly extraordinary pieces in this time,” says Lytle. “By holding this exhibition of metalware that he has collected for himself over the years, I hope that everyone can enjoy Peter’s catholic tastes and find a piece they cannot resist.”

Kashmiri three-leaf clover-shaped copper tray (£520)
Kashmiri three-leaf clover-shaped copper tray (£520)

Highlights include a Buddhist copper beggar’s bowl (£360, second picture), an Indian pot-bellied copper vase on a stand (£490) and a fine brass lota (£450). Among a number of desirable trays is a Kashmiri three-leaf-clover-shaped copper one (£520, third picture), a small, heavy brass one with a Star of David decoration (£180) and a 19th-century circular bronze one (£280). A set of five 17th-century-style brass bowls (£360) offer functionality as well as decorative appeal, as does an elegant canoe-shaped wooden bowl (£290), while a wooden crocodile-lidded box (£950, first picture) is wonderfully whimsical. These are things of grace, beauty and charm – a wonderful antidote to our digital, screen-filled lives.

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